The Keene Chorale



An appreciation

Dr. Heffernan served as The Keene Chorale’s Music Director from 1984 to 1999

In 1999 on The Keene Chorale’s Twentieth Anniversary, Dr. Charles Heffernan celebrated fifty years of conducting and his fifteenth year with the Chorale.  We ended a tribute to him with one of his witticisms and an expression of our feelings. Hand on chest, he’d say in mock self-pity, “Look at me now and then, so I’ll think I’m needed.”

Charles was the consummate teacher. He met the needs of all, and this ability was a rare gift.  He informed us about the music, explained musical styles, taught vocal techniques, and helped us meet our musical best.

Charles injected little anecdotes during our rehearsals. Under his leadership, The Chorale had discipline, commanded — not demanded — through his musicianship and personality, and our mutual love of music.  Yet no one had greater discipline, and dedication, than Charles himself.

On January 8, 2022, just shy of 93 years old, Charles quietly passed away at his home in Amherst, MA, with his daughter, Priscilla, and his beloved partner of 26 years, Bob, by his side. With memories of more than 40 concerts — of Bach’s Passion According to St. John on our Tenth Anniversary, Handel’s Messiah on our Twentieth, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, music small and grand from Palestrina to Poulenc, Gregorian chant to Heffernan — we say our final good-byes to Dr. Charles Heffernan.

Dr. Charles Heffernan – you will be deeply missed.

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